Saturday, March 05, 2016

Oregon Voters Have A Progressive Alternative To Blue Dog Kurt Schrader-- Meet Dave McTeague


Kurt Schrader leads the Republican wing of the Democratic Party in the House, the much-depleted and defanged Blue Dogs. His constituents have long wanted to replace him with a real Democrat and Dave McTeague's late February decision to run has been widely hailed. The 5th district is considered a "swing district," although Obama won it against McCain 53-44% and against Romney 50-47%. It's centered on Salem, the state capital, and extends north as far as Milwaukie and Happy Valley south of Portland, including most of Clackamas County's population centers. The district also extends south and west, through Marion and Polk counties, over to the Oregon coast covering Tillamook and Lincoln counties. Before Schrader brought his brand of Republican-lite politics to OR-05, the district had been represented in Washington by genuine moderates, Darlene Hooley and Mike Kopetski, who tended to stick with Democratic Party progressives values, unlike Schrader, who has one of the worst voting records of any Democrat in Congress-- plus an "F" grade from ProgressivePunch-- and is always counted on by the GOP leadership to help them make their extremist legislation look "bipartisan." This session he has the 9th most anti-progressive voting record of any Democrat in the House, the same numerical score (52.48) as conservative North Carolina Republican, Walter Jones.

Recently Schrader's relations with organized labor have been severely strained over his support for the TPP and alignments around the dock issues between the ILWU and management. His League of Conservation Voters record plummeted to 57%, confirming him as the most environmentally unfriendly of Oregon’s Democratic delegation.

Former state Rep. Dave McTeague, an actual Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Democrat-- and a Bernie supporter-- jumped into the race a week ago, February 27. When he made his announcement, he told Oregonians that he had joined Bernie's "political revolution to address growing income inequality and the decline of the middle class." He is a long-time environmental activist and was a champion of working families for his five terms in the state legislature (1985-1994). He was a McGovern delegate to the national convention in 1972 and a Ted Kennedy delegate in 1980, same year he was elected as a Democratic National Committeeman at the state convention. He was Executive Director of the Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiners from 1996 to 2014. He also served three terms on the Clackamas Fire District Board of Directors. While Dave lives in the part of the district that is south of Portland in the metro area; he has roots in the Salem-Keizer community where his family moved to in 1969. I asked him to write a guest post about why he decided to jump back into politics and run for the seat Schrader holds.
Why Would I Do This?
-by Dave McTeague, candidate for Congress, OR-05

After attending Congressman Kurt Schrader’s Oregon City Town hall meeting (2-16-2016), and hearing his support for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal; I decided to engage in this debate. While Schrader said it was "good on the labor side," that is flatly contradicted by an AFL-CIO report just issued.

After I cited Public Citizen’s Trade Watch report concerning weak environmental provisions, Mr. Schrader discounted the opposition, saying they were predisposed to oppose the TPP.  Schrader’s vote for the Fast Track approval process prevents Congress from demanding any changes in the TPP, which was negotiated in secret. The more I read about the TPP, the more concerned I get that it will fundamentally undermine our middle class more than NAFTA did.

Schrader’s vote with the Republicans against the Syrian refugees was the other issue key in my decision to file. This vote was a cave-in to the worst Trump-like sentiments.  I believe we need to do much more to address this enormous human catastrophe, especially since it was brought on in large part by the destabilization of the region by the disastrous 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. The rest of the Oregon Democratic congressional delegation opposed this proposed law, which died in the U.S. Senate.

Three environmental issues really concern me:
Schrader voted for the Keystone Pipeline; which would be an environmental disaster. We need to fight climate change, not deny it.

I helped stop nuclear power in Oregon with 1978’s Ballot Measure # 9. Schrader supports nuclear power development and the Oregon corporation that wants to build so-called 'new generation' nukes with federal subsidies.

Schrader’s bill to drastically increase clear cut logging on public O & C lands managed by the BLM weakens environmental protections.
These days a lot of voters, Democratic voters too, don’t feel represented by the Washington Establishment and want real change. This is evident in the success of Sen. Sanders’s insurgent presidential campaign, which I strongly support. The incumbent is the Co-Chair of the conservative Blue Dog Caucus. I would be a member of the Progressive Caucus.

I don’t have any illusions about this effort. Running against an entrenched incumbent is like taking on the Death Star in Star Wars especially one with access to a million or more dollars of PAC money.

So why would I do this? Because a lot of Democratic and independent voters want real fundamental change, a political revolution, and they’re not willing to settle for politics as usual. Those Democrats and independents deserve to have a choice just as they have a choice for real change in the Presidential Primary.

My candidacy’s purpose is to provide Democratic primary voters a progressive alternative to the establishment incumbent. I will not accept any funding from any corporate Political Action Committees. I agree with Senator Bernie Sanders we have to overturn our current corrupt campaign finance system to make real fundamental changes.
You can find out more about Dave, his policies and his campaign at and on his Facebook page.


You can help Dave take his campaign to the voters in Oregon's 5th district by tapping the thermometer and contributing what you can. Let's help replace the head of the Blue Dogs with a real progressive Democrat.

Goal Thermometer

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At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Cynthia said...

Thank you for posting this. As an Oregonian and a HUGE Bernie Sanders supporter, I will let my other progressive friends know of Dave McTeague !

At 9:18 AM, Blogger Lonnie Osgood said...

Ditto from here. Time for real change. I'm so glad that Dave Mc Teague has joined Bernie's 27 dollar revolution. I'll use whatever soapbox social media provides to showcase Dave's message.


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